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- PublicationBiomarkers of legume intake in human intervention and observational studies: a systematic reviewThere is a growing interest in assessing dietary intake more accurately across different population groups and biomarkers have emerged as a complementary tool to replace traditional dietary assessment methods. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature available and evaluate the applicability and validity of biomarkers of legume intake reported across various observational and intervention studies. A systematic search in PubMed, Scopus and ISI Web of Knowledge identified 44 studies which met the inclusion criteria for the review. Results from observational studies focused on soy or soy-based foods and demonstrated positive correlations between soy intake and urinary, plasma or serum isoflavonoid levels in different population groups. Similarly, intervention studies demonstrated increased genistein and daidzein levels in urine and plasma following soy intake. Both genistein and daidzein exhibited dose response relationships. Other isoflavonoid levels such as O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA) and equol were also reported to increase following soy consumption. Using a developed scoring system, genistein and daidzein can be considered as promising candidate markers for soy consumption. Furthermore, genistein and daidzein also served as good estimates of soy intake as evidenced from long term exposure studies marking their status as validated biomarkers. On the contrary, only few studies indicated proposed biomarkers for pulses intake; with pipecolic acid and S-Methylcysteine reported as markers reflecting dry bean consumption; unsaturated aliphatic, hydroxyl-dicarboxylic acid related to green beans intake and trigonelline reported as marker of peas consumption. However, data regarding criteria such as specificity, dose-response and time-response relationship, reliability, feasibility etc. to evaluate the validity of these markers is lacking. In conclusion, despite many studies suggesting proposed biomarkers for soy, there is a lack of information on markers of other different subtypes of legumes. Further discovery and validation studies are needed in order to identify reliable biomarkers of legume intake.
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